Mechanical ventilation or ventilatory support means to be on a machine that helps you breathe.

The patient has a tube inserted through the nose or mouth into the trachea (windpipe) that is attached to the ventilator. The ventilator is a machine that can deliver a breath to a patient who may be having difficulty breathing or who may not be breathing at all.

The number of breaths and the amount of volume or pressure given at each breath are set on the machine by the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) team.